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Head of Finance & Property (S151)
opportunity with
East Herts Council

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Welcome

Welcome

Note from the Chief Executive

Hello, and thank you for your interest in this role.

I hope you’ll find everything you need on this section of the website, but please do not hesitate to ring me if you want to discuss anything. Having been at East Herts for about a year, I’ve found it to be an exciting place to work, with innovative and transformative projects and service delivery at the heart of what we do. As with many districts, the council is pursuing new vehicles and ways of working to deliver our ambitious four year corporate strategic plan, and you will find an environment which offers real opportunity to work collaboratively with other authorities and partners. Councillors are active and engaged, staff are friendly and welcoming, and there’s a strong sense of working for the community to make real changes to people’s lives.

We have a strong leadership structure which gives Heads of Service significant responsibility and accountability for their own service.This works well and I am really pleased to have such a strong set of individuals in place who are incredibly supportive of each other. But the key change is in the ethos of working across services to deliver our corporate plan, and enabling every single individual who works for the council to play their part in an organisation which is innovative, ambitious, commercial, resilient and work relentlessly to improve things. I am seeking to fill this critical role in the leadership team and I need someone who will work collaboratively with peers, colleagues and partners, and play a key role in building strong and empowered teams across the council. Your role will be to deliver a high-performing and responsive service, which enables us to deliver our ambitions.

So it’s an exciting time in local government – we’re no longer the boring, traditional public sector! The last five years have seen radical change and the next five will certainly see more. Whatever you decide, thanks for taking the time to consider East Herts and best wishes for the future.

Richard Cassidy

Richard Cassidy

Chief Executive

Message from Cllr Linda Haysey

East Herts has an ambitious programme of delivery from both day-to-day services and alongside large scale capital and transformation projects. Major town centre regeneration, a new garden town, new leisure centres/theatres, revitalised parks, digital working, green travel…. to name but a few.

As Leader of the Council I am clear that communities are at the heart of what we do, and our councillors are at the forefront of ensuring we deliver for residents and businesses in the district. We also have an important role in working collaboratively with our partners and neighbouring authorities.

As well as being Chair of the East of England LGA, I am also a Board Member of the Herts LEP, Herts Growth Board and London Stansted Cambridge Corridor. Providing leadership in this complex landscape of public services will be a key challenge for us in the coming years and I'm pleased to say the officer Leadership Team is well established, highly motivated, and up for taking risk. I want a new member of that team to bring constructive challenge, a positive can do attitude and new ideas.

Linda Haysey

Cllr Linda Haysey

Leader of East Herts Council

About

About us

Recently named the UK's best place to live by the Halifax Quality of Life survey 2020, East Herts is renowned for its bustling market towns and picturesque countryside.

With a population of around 148,000, the main towns in East Herts are Bishop's Stortford, Hertford, Ware, Buntingford, and Sawbridgeworth.The rest of the population live in a mixture of villages and rural hamlets, each with their own identity and personality.

East Herts is a small council with big ambition. Communities are at the heart of what we do and to meet the expectations of our residents and ensure East Herts remains a great place to live, work, and visit, we have an ambitious programme of delivery. Major town centre regeneration, new leisure centres, theatre, revitalised parks, digital working, and green travel are just some of our priorities.

The local population is set to grow over the coming years and pressure for development and the demand for homes, jobs and leisure facilities has never been greater.

Our operation is based in offices in Hertford and Bishop’s Stortford but we also operate depots, leisure centres, theatres, parks, and open spaces across the district.

Our staff, whatever their role, all help us meet our goals by providing great services to our local community and residents. We look for people with potential and excellent transferable skills that we can develop rather than people to have just worked in similar roles before.

We take diversity seriously and value people on their merits. To help staff, we offer a supportive working environment where development opportunities are encouraged along with many other benefits to allow for a positive work-life balance.

Greenery

Like many districts East Herts operates in a complex political landscape with 48 town and parish councils as well as the county council. Many district councillors are also town or parish and/or county councillors which can bring efficiency in mobilising support and resources but can also come with challenges – with five distinct towns alongside over 100 individual villages and hamlets there are many separate identities within East Herts, as opposed to an overall district wide identity. Following elections in 2019 the political make-up of the Council is 40 Conservatives, 6 Liberal Democrat, 2 Green and 2 Labour.

The council’s Executive has plenty of ambition which is demonstrated by its commitment to propose investing £28m in leisure facilities, £13.5m in Hertford Theatre and significant amounts (yet to be agreed) in the Old River Lane site at Bishop’s Stortford (including a new arts centre, multi-story car park, commercial, retail and residential units). Partnership working, collaboration, and consensus building are essential requirements for officers at all levels in the organisation to realise these ambitions. Reporting in to the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive are 8 service areas with responsibility for delivering services through a mixture of in-house, shared and contracted arrangements (the net cost of which is around £14m in 2018/19).

Town

A peer review took place in December 2018 which concluded that East Herts is recognised as having bold ambition with the Leader at the forefront of driving the growth agenda in Hertfordshire. There is a stable financial platform having managed budgets effectively throughout periods of austerity with relatively few reductions or “cuts” in services since 2008 and staff are deemed to be open, friendly and committed. Equally there are challenges to consider as we move forward. As with many councils we face skills shortages and recruitment difficulties in key service areas and have further work to do on ensuring the capability and capacity of our workforce matches the ambition. Momentum on transformation and change needs to be sustained and realising the new commercial strategy is also key to ensuring the long term viability of the council.

For more information on East Herts click on the links below:

East Herts Health profile 2017

Economic Factsheets 2018

Annual Reports

Vision Corporate Priorities

Herts insight

Economic development vision and action plan

Documents for further information

Corporate Plan

Corporate Plan

East Herts: A place to grow

Our Corporate Plan sets out the strategic direction for the council, and demonstrates our commitment to putting our communities at the heart of all our work.

Our vision is supported by four priorities:

  • Sustainability at the heart of everything we do
  • Enabling our communities
  • Encouraging economic growth
  • Digital by design

We have chosen the “seed” concept to represent the priorities of the Council as it characterises much of what our district offers. As well as our commitment to sustainability and being greener, East Herts is a place where you can grow whether you want to move to a new, energy efficient home, expand your business or enjoy our market towns and fantastic green spaces whilst still being in easy reach of London.

Over 2020/21 – 2023/4 we will to continue to provide much needed housing but ensuring this comes with the right investment in infrastructure for travel, education and health. We also have planned investments of well over £100m in the next few years to improve our leisure and arts offering as well as help keep town centres vibrant and relevant.

CP

Values

Values

Values & Behaviours

We are ‘One Team’

We don’t just state our values, we live them. These values define the relationship between the council its people, and underpin our approach to performance, reward and wellbeing:

  • Here to Help
  • We work together
  • We aim high

By demonstrating our corporate values in everything we do, we not only make a real difference to our local communities but also for our staff and their progression.

In addition to our values, we are proud to have a supportive working culture with strong staff groups that support each other such as our carers support group, mental health first aiders, and buddy programme.

We encourage creativity and ideas to improve the delivery of services and working environment, and our regular all staff briefings, staff suggestion scheme and monthly staff recognition ensure we continue working together as one team.

Case studies

Case studies

Click or tap on a profile to view case study.

James

James Ellis

Head of Legal and Democratic Services

Having worked at a neighbouring authority for a number of years, I was familiar with East Herts Council, the area it served within Hertfordshire as well as a number of its officers for some time. When the opportunity to apply for the Head of Legal Services post arose, I was immediately attracted to the role due to the new challenges it would offer me, as well as the opportunity to progress in my career.

My previous dealings with East Herts had always been positive and I had liked Hertford as a town each time I had visited. The Council Offices are set within very picturesque surroundings, whilst not being too far from the town centre.

Since starting I have remarked on several occasions as to how friendly and helpful my new colleagues are and have been towards me, with plenty of supportive people on hand to help with whatever queries I may have had from time to time.

My first 5 months at the Council have been very positive and I have already been given many opportunities to develop and build upon my own knowledge and skills through involvement in a variety of wide ranging projects and work streams.

Emily

Emily Coulter

Project Manager

I started at East Herts Council in 2016, as part of the Local Government’s National Graduate Development Programme. I had the opportunity to work across four very different services areas of the council which gave me a range of various works streams and experience: from developing strategies with teams, working on new policies, managing a range of corporate projects, devolving a local asset and setting it up as a charitable organisation, and even doing my own planning application!

A lot of these opportunities were afforded to me as a result of the excellent senior corporate support for the graduate programme and the senior line management which I received; this meant that I received a large number of opportunities as senior members of staff would develop suitable work programmes for the six months service I had with each area. Following this varied experience, East Herts provided me with an opportunity to take up a project management role allowing me to continue to work for the council on a range of projects and experiences.

As part of this development role, I was provided with relevant training, professional certifications, and support, which has given me the possibility to now lead on senior capital projects on behalf of the Council. I have been given a huge amount of trust and responsibility in a short space of time, and being able to deliver on two of the Council’s key corporate projects of circa £32 million is reflective of the senior support I have received and the opportunities presented to me throughout my time at the council.

This environment has enabled me to develop my career quickly, but has been made far less daunting by the supportive environment East Herts has provided. East Herts has been a fantastic place to start my career and it is clear it is a place where you can quickly take on responsibility quickly but in a supportive and trusting environment.

Benefits

Benefits of working for us

  • A stimulating and supportive work environment
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Employee wellbeing programme
  • Local Government pension scheme
  • 28 days annual leave rising to 33 days with 5 years’ local government service
  • A range of discounts including high street retailers and local leisure centres
  • Professional environment where your career path really matters and your development is supported by the organisation
  • Flexible and supportive team

As part of our Green Travel agenda we actively encourage employees to explore more economical and eco-friendly means of travel to work, e.g. public transport, cycle, walk or car share, and support this through a number of initiatives such as Liftshare.

Hartham Graham Mully

Equality & Diversity

However you identify yourself, whatever community you come from, we want the skills and commitment you have to bring. We want to work with you as an individual to help plan and support your career growth at East Herts. We’re determined to break down barriers. We want East Herts to be a great place to work, learn and be able to contribute for everybody.

Opportunity

The opportunity

Role: Head of Finance & Property (S151)

About the role

The Council’s main office location is Wallfields, Pegs Lane, Hertford. The Council also has offices at Charringtons House, Bishop’s Stortford, our largest town, as well as at Buntingford. Staff are also based at our Hertford Theatre. This post will require the postholder to be located at Hertford but travel to other sites in and out of the District as necessary.

The appointment is subject to a six months’ probationary period.; The council will receive reports from the psychometric tests, together with performance in the interviews, which will form the basis of a personal development plan to be agreed and monitored by the Chief Executive as part of the probationary and performance review process.

This post is on the NJC national agreement on pay and conditions of service. It is a politically restricted post within the meaning of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

The salary scale for this post is £73,412 - £83,914 (inclusive of local weighting). Starting salary is dependant on previous experience.

The Council’s Pay Statement 2019/20 sets out the Council’s policy on remuneration for Heads of Service. Progression through the proposed pay range and scale points is based on performance (measured through a performance review process).

The post also attracts the following benefits:

  • Local Government Career Average Pension Scheme
  • 28 days’ annual leave/holiday each year plus bank/public holidays plus 5 additional days if you have 5+ years’ continuous local government service
  • Concessionary discounts on leisure, sports and cultural activities
  • Free car parking
  • LGPS death grant

Your normal working week is one of 37 hours from Monday to Friday.  However it is unlikely that this post would be satisfactorily undertaken within a fixed working week and some element of unsocial hours will be required for the proper discharge and performance of the duties, and any emergency planning activities.  This may include occasional weekend working, within the parameters of the Working Time regulations.  Attendance at evening meetings of e.g. full Council, the Executive, Committees, sub-committees, working parties, other elected Member bodies and public meetings is an integral part of the role for which no further allowance are paid.

Head of Finance and Property (S151) - job description